Harriers, kites, vultures, hawks, buzzards, eagles and falcons … all these magnificent masters of flight are combined together in one group: raptors. They range in size from the diminutive, sparrow-sized Black thighed Falconet to the gargantuan 24-pound Cinereous Vulture. All raptors are carnivores and possess incredible eyesight, powerful talons and physics-defying agility.
Thailand possesses 59 resident and migrant species of raptors; of the residents three have been extirpated and two are on the highly endangered lists.
Grey headed Fish Eagle is perhaps the rarest raptor in the kingdom. This individual was photographed in Klong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary.
Osprey are cosmopolitan birds found all throughout the world. In Thailand they are winter visitors with some young birds staying over for a few years before returning north.
Bat Hawk is another extremely rare resident which is found in only the most remote and undisturbed forests of southern Thailand.
White bellied Sea Eagles are coastal birds which feed on both refuse and fresh fish. This individual was photographed near Khao Lak.
The Crested Honey Buzzard is a migrant to Thailand. This picture was taken in Klong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary.
Both resident and migrant forms of Peregrine Falcon are found in Thailand. This female was photographed in Talay Noi, Phatthalung.
Changeable Hawk Eagle, juvenile (dark morph); photographed in Khlong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary
Oriental Honey Buzzards are a common sight in southern Thailand between October – May when they migrate in the thousands through the peninsula. This photograph was taken near Tah Chatchai in north Phuket.
Every year young Himalayan Griffon Vultures come crashing down in southern Thailand due to lack of food on their long journey south. This fellow was photographed in Khlong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary.
Lesser Fish Eagle inhabit both forest streams and lakes bordering forest habitat. An endangered raptor, this fellow was photographed in Khlong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary.
One of the most common aerial predators, the Crested Serpent Eagle will put a quick stop to any and all bird activity the second it starts calling once it takes to flight. This handsome bird was photographed in Khlong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary.